SOURCE: GALAPAGOS CONSERVANCY (http://www.galapagos.org)
DATE: 19 June 2009
An Executive Decree Defines the Zoning of Baltra Island, which is now part of the Galapagos National Park.
Baltra Island, located at the center of the Galapagos Archipelago, officially became part of the Galapagos National Park (GNP) and thus part of the National System of Protected Areas of Ecuador, through Executive Decree 1784, dated June 15, 2009.
Baltra Island is now part of the Galapagos National Park.
This decree defines the zoning of Baltra and establishes areas for conservation and restoration of ecosystems, and areas for the reduction of environmental impacts, as laid out in the zoning system in the GNP Management Plan.
The area designated for conservation and restoration of ecosystems will be monitored by the GNP and occupies 73.9% (1,874.15 ha) of the island. A total of 28.94% (722.85 ha) of the island has been designated as an area for impact reduction. Within this area, three sub zones have been defined:
* Areas for special use, managed by the GNPS
* Areas for use by the Ecuadorian military, managed by the Ecuadorian armed forces
* Areas for airport infrastructure, managed by the Office of Civil Aviation
The decree also designated the roads connecting the Baltra docks with the airport as areas for “free circulation for terrestrial transit.”
The process of zoning Baltra was initiated more than two years ago, following a request by the Minister of the Environment and the Ministry of Defense to clarify institutional responsibility for the management and use of Baltra, where the Galapagos Air Base and the Puerto de Seymour Port Captaincy are located.
A committee created a zoning proposal which was approved by the Ingala Council. With this baseline document, the Minister of Environment began a process of dialogue with the Ministry of Defense.
The zoning proposal integrated the land use needs of the three institutions based on the island, and the guidelines contained in the GNPS Management Plan.